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‘Copycat cosmetics’ grow popular in Korea

By Shin Ji-hye

  • Published : Feb 15, 2016 - 14:52
  • Updated : Feb 15, 2016 - 14:52

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Copycat cosmetics, modelled after pricier brands, are gaining traction among young consumers in Korea.

These copycat products are inexpensive and their quality is similar to those of higher-end cosmetics.

The items range from basic skin care products, such as moisturizers and essence creams, to color cosmetics including eyeliners, mascaras, lipsticks and eye shadow.

Espoir, which is a budget color cosmetics brand owned by Amore Pacific, has recently released a gel-type moisturizer Pure Radiance Glowrizer designed to clarify and brighten users’ skin. This is known among local consumers as a cheaper version of New York-based M.A.C’s Strobe Cream. The former costs 28,000 won ($23) and the latter is 46,000 won.

Another brand Nature Republic’s Shine Blossom Blusher is gaining popularity in the local beauty market with a product that is similar to Benefit Cosmetics best-selling pink blusher Dandelion Ultra Plush. The former costs 6,900 won, six times less than Benefit’s product which costs 42,000 won.

Other local budget cosmetics brands also have products modelled after pricier brands. For instance, Apieu’s lip pencil and Woodbury’s perfect Ultra-lip Pencil Velvet Red are known to take after products of French cosmetics brand NARS, which is known for its shade products.

Regarding the growing popularity of “cheap cosmetics” in the local beauty market, industry watchers have mixed views. One industry expert said, “While they may offer a wider choice to young consumers with lower prices and good quality, the indiscriminate imitation may tarnish the image of local cosmetics’ brands.”

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)